Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fluoride in your water? It is not as safe as you think.

Fluoride is one of the chemicals added to drinking water in almost 70% of the municipal/metropolitan water source across the United States.

Most of us have the feeling that fluoride is something we should be taking to keep our teeth healthy. We've been told fluoride prevents cavity formation, protects our teeth, and must be of value if just about every commercially available toothpaste contains it. Right?

Well, let's re-think this for a minute, starting with this question: what is fluoride?

"Fluoride" (as we think of it) for drinking water is most often delivered in a form known scientifically as "silicofluoride".

Silicofluorides are an industrial waste by-product generated by the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers. The wet scrubbing systems of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing facilities captures the silicofluorides destined for your water faucets, which is also rich in additional contaminants such as lead, arsenic and other offending toxins.
(For more information, see: http://www.slweb.org/chemicals.html)

Then, this whole batch of chemical by-products is dumped into your drinking water supply, at about one part per million. Even if one part per million sounds whimpy, it results in a yearly infusion of about 200,000 tons of silicofluorides into the our nation's water supply, just to ensure that we are getting our therapeutic levels of fluoride.

And what are the therapeutic levels of fluoride?

Who knows!
It's never been determined. It really hasn't.

So how can you be sure you're getting enough, or not too much?

Again. Who knows!

If fact, nobody can say for sure that silicofluorides are even safe for human consumption (but you've likely already had a pretty good dose of them in your morning coffee).

The truth is, no human consumption trials have been adequately conducted to determine how safe silicofluorides are (or aren't).

I suppose common sense might lead one to think that a fertilizer by-product, along with lead, arsenic, et.al. would just be plain old bad news added into our water supply, for any reason, let alone for daily consumption. But, like I said, it has not been officially tested for safe levels, so there you have it.

If you want to see for yourself, check out this letter written to a Dartmouth College researcher, sent from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), responding to the researcher's request for proof that Silicofluoride was proven safe for human health and behavior (http://www.slweb.org/EPA-Masters.jpg).

Look. In 1950 it seemed like the right thing to do, adding fluoride to the water, because it was believed that young children needed fluoride to protect their teeth, and the best way to protect teeth was to have kids take fluoride before their teeth even emerged from their gum-lines.

Well, we now have enough material written on the subject of fluoride to understand that its topical application, directly to the teeth, in small doses (i.e. toothpaste) provides more that enough protection to the teeth. We don't need to be drinking fluoride in every glass of water, every day, for years and years to obtain any increased level of protection from cavities.

In fact, we are likely harming our health by our systemic intake of fluoride, yet over 140,000 people in the United States are doing just that, each and every day.

And, if you think fluoride is not at least "suspected" to be toxic to one's system, pick up a tube of fluoridated toothpaste and read the warning about keeping this product out of the reach of children, and how children under the age of six should be kept clear of your toothpaste because they might eat it and need to be rushed to a poison control center, and so on.
Doesn't sound too comforting to me, how about to you?

Some might argue that fluoride, altogether, is useless. After all, if we are eating diets high in tooth-decaying sugars and de-mineralized foods, then why try to combat that with fluoride, when the long-term solution is to move away from cavity-promoting foods.

Skip the fluoride. Eat a better diet. Simple.

For research on dental decay and diet, I recommend reading Weston Price's work, which can be viewed on the Weston Price Foundation site at http://www.westonaprice.org/
His work, as a dentist, really is interesting reading, if this kind of topic floats your boat.

So, what's the harm of too much fluoride?

Many possible health detriments come from too much fluoride in one's system. Tooth discoloration and mottling (fluoridosis), increased risk of certain bone cancers, a reduction in I.Q. levels in developing children, increased lead levels in the blood in the presence of silicofluorides, and on and on.

Follow this link if you want to see a more thorough listing of health deficits created by fluoride consumption (http://www.holisticmed.com/fluoride/).

Well, in case you want to get rid of the fluoride in your water supply, you need to do one of the following things:

1. Get a reverse osmosis filtration system installed in your home,
2. Use an Activated Alumina Defluoridation Filter (starting at around $35.00, requiring frequent replacement of the filters)
3. Use distillation filtration (which is the method used to produce distilled water).

You should know that distilled water is devoid of all minerals, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on which side of the "distilled water debate" you tend to fall. I will leave that up to you do decide.

Most over-the-counter type filters (Pur, Brita, decanter-style, etc.) will not filter out fluoride. You also cannot get rid of fluoride by boiling or freezing your water.

To wrap this up, I think fluoride (or silicofluoride) in the public water supply is a bad policy--it forces people to drink a chemical they may not want in their water, has them pay for the very water service that provides them with unwanted chemicals, and leaves no convenient alternative for its removal (see options 1-3 above).

Why force people to drink a chemical placed into their water that has no benefit to water purification?

Why add a chemical that has not been proven safe for human consumption and has a considerable list of proven side effects and health concerns?

Why not get rid of fluoride in the water altogether, and let people get their fluoride on their own time, as a matter of choice?

You tell me.

Enough water blogging!

(All this writing is making me thirsty).

At the very least, you might walk away from this article asking a few questions that you otherwise weren't looking to tackle today.



1 comment:

John Miley, L.Ac. said...
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